Senator Proposes Tax Credit for Telework Arrangements

July 5, 2005 ( - US Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania) has introduced The Telework Tax Incentive (bill S. 1292) to provide a tax credit up to $500 for expenses incurred "for furnishings and electronic information equipment which are used to enable an individual to telework."

The bill  defines telework as “to perform work functions, using electronic information and communication technologies, thereby reducing or eliminating the physical commute to and from the traditional worksite .   The credit would be given to employees or employers who pay the expenses in an arrangement where the employee teleworks at least 75 days per year.  The credit could be applied towards the purchase of equipment that facilitates such work, including:

  • printers,
  • fax machines, or
  • office furnishings.

The credit is prorated based on the number of months the employee teleworks.  

Santorum included in his proposal an estimate that working from home uses three times less energy than commuting to work, along with other time, cost, and environmental statistics.  A press release announcing the bill notes that 40 million Americans telework, and also says that 40% of the nation’s jobs “…are already compatible with telecommuting.”     

Santorum previously cosponsored legislation that set up telecommuting pilot programs in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Houston and Denver.

“It creates the best of all worlds for both employers and employees, giving working parents the flexibility to meet everyday demands,” Santorum said in a press release. “Plus, telecommuting has the added benefit of being good for the environment, as it reduces gas consumption and emissions.”

-Rebecca Moore